Current Students Enrolment Taking a break from study (leave of absence)

Taking a break from study (leave of absence)

Once you have started your studies you may find that you need to take a break. Taking a formal leave of absence allows you to take a break from your studies (usually between six months and two years) while still remaining admitted to your course at JCU.

See if you are eligible

Undergraduate and postgraduate (coursework) students are eligible for a leave of absence if:

  • Your program allows it (some degrees only allow a year whereas others allow up to three years, check your degree requirements on the handbook website)
  • You have incurred fees for at least one subject under the same course
  • Your course status is 'admitted' and not 'withdrawn'

International students

A leave of absence is available to international students studying on a student visa only in limited circumstances (under the ESOS Act, National Code 2007).

You must provide a statement outlining compassionate and compelling circumstances which are beyond your control and have an impact on your course progress or well-being. You must also attach documentation to your application to support this statement.

We recommend you talk to International Student Support before lodging your application. You will also need to contact the Department of Home Affairs to find out how this request may affect your continued studies in Australia.

It is a student visa condition that your address remains current on our records, please log into eStudent and update your phone number, address and personal email.

How to apply

If you have met the above eligibility criteria, complete a Leave of Absence Application:

JCU Leave of Absence Application Form (for Cairns, Townsville, External and Study Centre Students)
JCU Brisbane Leave of Absence Application Form

If approved, any subjects you are enrolled in during the approved leave period will be automatically withdrawn (this only applies to subjects where the census date has not yet passed).

Students receiving scholarships

If you are or expect to receive a payment for a scholarship, taking a break from study could mean your scholarship is deferred or terminated. Please refer to the specific rules of the scholarship you are receiving or contact Scholarships for further information.

If you are receiving an Undergraduate Commonwealth Scholarship paid by JCU, your payments will be suspended while you are on approved leave of absence. You can defer scholarship payments for up to one year. After that time, your scholarship will be terminated. To arrange deferral of your payments, contact Scholarships.

If you are receiving a Start-up Scholarship and/or a Relocation Scholarship your scholarship payments will be suspended while you are on leave of absence. For more information, please contact Centrelink.

Returning early or extending your leave of absence

To return early or extend your leave of absence, send an email from your JCU account to your Divisional Enrolment Team.

Keep your contact details up-to-date

Update your address, phone and personal email address in eStudent to ensure you receive communications about the outcome of your application and when your leave has finished. If you are leaving the country, add a temporary address while you are on leave.

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